Lionel Messihas leftBarcelonaand already @LSComps was on hand to provide the perfect viewing.
The popular football compilations producer put together a ten minute video on Messi titled ‘End of an Era – The Story’ and it makes for a wonderful watch from start to finish.
It well and truly highlights the greatness that Messi achieved at Barcelona, where he well and truly changed the game and had one of the most special periods in sporting history.
Lionel Messi – End of an Era
— ً (@LSComps) August 5, 2021
Messi started playing with local club Newell’s Old Boys before making the switch to Barcelona as a 13-year-old.
He arrived at Barca in September 2000 and immediately had people in awe of his supreme footballing talents.
Messi was promised a deal when he and his family headed back home but the decision on whether or not the Blaugrana would sign the Rosario youngster didn’t come until December.
A host of Barcelona officials and those with ties to the club had lunch. His first contract was signed on a paper napkin in what is now one of the most important documents in the history of football.
This picture here is of a 13 y.o. Lionel Messi’s first professional contract; on a paper napkin. Carles Rexach, Barcelona’s manager, didn’t have any paper nearby, but his urgency to sign Messi made him write the contract on a napkin lying around him.
[14 Dec, 2000; Barcelona] #7 pic.twitter.com/vyhcTOiwbC
— Iconic Football Photos™ (@IconicFP) August 8, 2018
Joan Gaspart, Barca’s president at the time, was sceptical about signing Messi but Carlos Rexach elected to write out the following contract on the napkin, signed by all three members present.
“In Barcelona, on December 14, 2000 and in the presence of Messrs. Minguella and Horacio, Carlos Rexach, Technical Secretary of F.C.B. is committed under his responsibility and despite some opinions against signing the player Lionel Messi as long as we maintain the agreed amounts.”
The diminutive starlet starred for Barcelona’s youth sides and eventually made his first-team debut against rivals Espanyol in October 2004.
His first goal was, rather aptly, assisted by the one and only Ronaldinho on May 2005 and the rest was history.
In 778 games for the club, Messi has scored 672 goals and registered 305 assists. He’s broken records left, right and centre and won 35 honours with the club, including 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies.
Lionel Messi’s run at Barcelona.
🐐 numbers. pic.twitter.com/po7IumkALm
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 5, 2021
The Argentine ace has also lifted an unprecedented six Ballon d’Ors and will go down as Barca’s greatest ever player as well as record goalscorer.
Seeing him slalom past defenders, curl in inch-perfect free-kicks or play outrageous through balls in a Barca shirt has been utterly joyous and you can’t help but feel a little sad that it’s over.
But the memories live on and we’re eager to see what the next chapter in Messi’s innate career will be.